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Stay Warm with Starbucks
By: Janet Kalandranis
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The northeast U.S. got hit with a doozy of a storm this weekend. It was one of epic proportions, predicted days out, and literally hit right on target. Most brands hunkered down and provided those nice “we’re here for you,” messages if needed. But then there is a brand that takes it up a notch. This brand thinks "relevant" isn’t good enough and strives to be highly relevant every single day. This brand is Starbucks.

With news of an impending storm, Starbucks worked overtime. Its New York-based marketing team made a call to Seattle and let headquarters know it needed to put the brand to work during the storm. The team created a social media campaign centered around a steaming cup of coffee and titled the image “Snow Day?” Those customers who were using hashtags #Nemo and #blizzard were served up this little ad campaign from Starbucks even before the first flake hit. Now that’s relevant. A brand’s ability to feel what customers are thinking and/or dreading before the event even happens. That’s highly relevant.

Relevance doesn’t stop after one ad. Starbucks understands that to be relevant you have to stay relevant. So those folks in the region where snow is keeping them captive will see a full-on campaign that reflects the frustration and annoyance of a storm, but one where Starbucks puts a warm and fuzzy spin on it. This is what separates good brands from great brands. This is a brand that sees an opportunity and does nothing but seize it to make sure it continues to stay the great brand that it is. Starbucks could have done one single ad or fun image and then gone dead. But the brand took it one step further — the step that makes the difference.

It’s important for brands to really understand relevant. It’s working all the time, putting the brand out there, and taking chances to see what works when other brands are silent. And many times these are the brands that make the leap from good to great and relevant to highly relevant. 

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About the Author
Janet Kalandranis is here to give you all the little brand thoughts that run through her head with a little dash of spice. Find her online here.
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